Repeal Day: the day we celebrate you doing a really horrible job with those oranges on your first try. Wait... or is it the anniversary of Prohibition's end? Either way, on Friday a ton of bars are doing some crazy-super-cheap drinks in its honor, including these eight spots where you can get tipples for $1 or less (holy CRAP one of them has a five-cent cocktail). Oh also, we've included a little Prohibition factoid with each, so you can sound super historically informed and stuff.
The Deal: Your first Old Fashioned is five cents (yes, FIVE CENTS), and then $5 for subsequent ones, starting at noon
What you're gonna tell the Great Granddaughter Old Forrester's founder, who'll actually also be hanging out at the bar: "One: your Great Granddad was awesome. Two, did you know that the pre-Prohibition Old Fashioned was made with Old Forrester? Three: actually you probably did know that, huh?"
The Deal: From 5-7pm, an Old Fashioned is just a buck
What you're gonna tell the "starlet" next to you who borrowed a feather from the costume shop on the lot where she PAs: "During Prohibition, you could still legally buy alcohol from doctors. Also, that is not a stethoscope in my pocket. Where are you going?"
The Deal: An Old Fashioned is $1 from 5-7pm
What you're gonna tell the bearded dude sitting next to you at the bar: "Dude, wanna hate the KKK even more? They actually LIKED Prohibition. What dicks!"
The Deal: $1 Old Fashioneds from, you guessed it, 5-7pm
What you're gonna tell the bartender after you tell him how excellent his suspenders are: "Booze cruises actually started during Prohibition: you'd get into international waters and then it'd be a total free for all."
The Deal: A Tequila Press, with jalapeño-infused Sino tequila, is just $1 from 5-7pm
What you're gonna tell the dude who feels bad about gentrification even though he's living it, like, right now: "The term 'speakeasy' allegedly comes from the phrase bartenders used to use to tell patrons to quiet down so no Prohibition rule-followers would hear them order."
The Deal: An Old Fashioned, one George Washington, 5-7pm
What you're gonna tell the girl you just saw window shopping at American Apparel like 10mins ago: "Some rum-runners got their booze to the US from Canada by driving across the frozen Great Lakes. Also, that is not a stethoscope in my pocket. Where are you going?"
The Deal: Old Fashioneds, $1, 5-7pm
What you're gonna tell the guy who, for some reason, is ordering a bottled cocktail even though they're normal price: "There are a lot of rumors that John F. Kennedy's dad was a bootlegger, since he owned the company that had exclusive rights to distribute Dewar's as soon as Prohibition ended. History, amirite?"
The Deal: The pisco-based Kapple Pie, and yes, Old Fashioneds, $1, 5-7pm
What you're gonna tell the guy who "just decided to stop in on his way to the Eastside because, man, this traffic is terrible, ya know?": "It was actually tradition to have a nonalcoholic drink first during Prohibition, to remember those who couldn't drink. Silly, silly tradition."
1. Melrose Umbrella Company7465 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
2. Harlowe7321 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
3. Bigfoot Lodge3172 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles
4. Oldfield's Liquor Room10899 Venice, Culver City
5. La Cuevita5922 N Figueroa, Los Angeles
6. The Thirsty Crow2939 W Sunset, Los Angeles
7. Sassafras Saloon1233 Vine St, Los Angeles
8. Bigfoot West10939 Venice Blvd, Culver City
If you're looking for creative cocktails with a speakeasy vibe, then you've arrived at your destination: Melrose Umbrella Company. This buzzy, den-like cocktail bar in West Hollywood specializes in herbaceous iterations of old-school libations. During the day, it turns its focus to coffee, pastries, and sandwiches.
This WeHo haunt sports a sophisticated interior with antique decor, brown banquettes, and an intricate, handmade tile floor, plus a killer cocktail program designed by beloved NY bartender Dushan Zaric. Sip on innovative cocktails like the Aye Poppy (Uncle Val's Botanical Gin, Grand Poppy, house-made strawberry basil syrup, lemon, and egg white), alongside a cheese & charcuterie board, while you salute Hollywood's Golden Age -- the theme of this classy spot.
Step into the log cabin-like interior of Bigfoot Lodge and escape into the wilderness of... Atwater Village. The roaring fireplace, tree stump tables, and hunting lodge decor will have you certain you’ve left Los Angeles (don’t worry, you haven’t). Bigfoot’s got live music, tallboys, and rustic-style cocktails that adhere to the campfire theme, like the Roasted Marshmallow with actual burnt marshmallow, and the Scout’s Honor with Irish cream liqueur. Once you've got your drink, cozy up to the fireplace and forget that you’re actually nowhere near the woods.
Oldfield's is a throwback cocktail bar that looks sort of like the apothecary that you used to visit when you were young and adept at traveling back in time to the early 20th century, with tiled floors, antique wood tables/chairs, and a massive wood bar flown in from Wisconsin, all from the semi-pro car racing guy behind Thirsty Crow/Bigfoot Lodge, who named the space after the first race car driver to hit 60mph.
La Cuevita is a tequila- and mezcal-centric grotto (cuevita means cave... also bar used to be called Little Cave) in Highland Park. It's decked out in vintage Mexican-themed trimmings, has a spacious outdoor patio, and free tacos on Tuesday nights (not a typo, there are actually free tacos). The cocktail cave will quench your thirst with classic Mexican cocktails -- Palomas, Margaritas, and the like -- and beloved agave spirits -- of which there are many -- and your sate your hunger with small Mexican bites brought in from local vendors, which vary depending on the night.
The Thirsty Crow is the kind of place you'd think your grandfather used to frequent. It's a bourbon-centric bar located in the former truck stop-style drinkery called Stinkers', whose owner capitalized on the elevated tastes (read: above the PBR/Jack Daniels paygrade) of his guests. He gutted, renovated, and re-concepted Stinkers' into The Thirsty Crow, and decked it out with a brand new... vintage feel. The shelves are stocked with over 40 small-batch distills, the music comes from an all-wood, all-vinyl juke box, the bar is lit by antique fixtures, and the walls are lined with weathered photographs. New construction, old-school flavor... like I said, there's no way your grandfather used to come here.
Authenticity comes in all shapes and sizes. At Sassafras Saloon, it comes in the shape of a one-time Savannah townhouse that was deconstructed, transported (from Georgia), and resurrected smack in the heart of Hollywood. Sure, the draw may be the live music and Southern-style cocktail proffer -- house-brewed sarsaparilla and barrel-aged beverages among them -- but the various (and plentiful) antebellum tchotchkes solidify the saloon’s down-home feel. Sassafras will take you from one southern corner of the country to the other as you sip your Sazerac in the parlor, underneath the portrait of Frederick Douglass.
Bigfoot West is the Culver City sister to Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater Village. Not only do they share a name, but a log cabin theme. Bigfoot West, in all its wood-paneled, taxidermy-wielding glory, will make you feel like you've left Culver City for the wilderness. (Don't panic! You haven't.) Bigfoot’s got over 100 whiskies on offer -- over half of them small-batch bourbons -- with a cocktail program that features infusions, shrubs, sherbets, purees, jams, and other culinary influence. Step into the cabin-like confines of Bigfoot West for expertly crafted cocktails and an escape to the wilderness.